Stored cysteine proteinases start globulin mobilization in protein bodies of embryonic axes and cotyledons during vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seed germination
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Inhibition of protein synthesis by cycloheximide during vetch seed germination, did not prevent globulin breakdown as indicated by a decrease in vicilin- and legumin-specific immunosignals on Western blots. Protein bodies isolated from embryo axes and cotyledons of dry vetch (Vicia sativa L.) seeds using a non-aqueous method were found to be free of cytoplasmic and organellar contaminations. Lysates of these purified protein bodies were capable of degrading globulins; this process was blocked by the cysteine proteinase (CPR) inhibitor iodoacetic acid. Protein bodies contained the papain-like CPR2 and CPR4, and the legumain-like CPR VsPB2. In vitro assays showed that albumin extracts from protein bodies degraded oligopeptide substrates in the PepTag-Assay and degraded the legumain substrate N-benzoyl-asparaginyl-p-nitroanilide. We conclude that, during germination, globulin mobilization is initiated by stored CPRs in protein bodies of embryonic axes as well as cotyledons, and that de-novo-formed proteolytic enzymes mainly mediate bulk degradation of stored globulin in cotyledons after germination.
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